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There are as many philosophies about preparing for the Boston Exam schools as there are parents and students who are considering these schools.  Blogs have been written, school reviews posted, and futures determined without ever knowing what the exam is that is given, who it is intended for, and what alternatives families might have in taking the exams, including by families who have managed to attain admission to the exam schools. Regardless of your philosophy, it is probably worthwhile to understand the nature of the process, and the particular test that is used to determine whether students can attend the school.

Whatever style your family wishes to adopt, we suggest at least some time for the student to look over the test, to understand what he or she is about to face.  If passing this test is critical to your family, for financial or other reasons, then it might be worth investing some time with our director to see what a reasonable plan might be.  Whether that means an hour of review of the test, or an extensive prep to raise skills for grades and a steady regimen of prep to aim for certain scores, we are available to assist your family and your student in this process.

Here are a few basic questions you want to be able to answer as part of this process. (CLICK HERE...test yourself!)

As part of the process, please read the BPS website, in-depth, checking carefully for dates and requirements.  (Link as of this writing is http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/exam )  Simply put, you need to be a Boston resident, and within a rather limited timeframe, you must prove that you are a resident.  Your youngster will need to meet the bar for grades and entrance test scores in order to gain entry.  In an attempt to prevent possible usurpers from entering the school, we have seen wholly qualified families and students miss out due to errors in completion of simple deadlines, deadlines that are strictly adhered to, regardless of extenuating circumstances.  You don’t want to be one of those unfortunate families who miss out on a technicality.  

The ISEE is a test which is intended to be utilized by private schools to determine the achievement and reasoning skills of potential students.  Because the test is mainly taken by highly motivated and self-selected test takers, the scores of students are skewed from the standard bell-curve one would expect on a standard achievement exam, such as the MCAS, Terra Nova or ERB tests.  In other words, it is far harder to get a 90th percentile on the ISEE than it is on a more widely utilized test such as the ERB.  A student might reasonably expect to score a 90th percentile on the ERB, but only a 60th or 70th percentile on the ISEE.

We have a great deal of experience in helping families and students negotiate the test process, and in helping to develop a plan that makes sense given the family's priorities and needs, readying students for test and in ensuring students have strong skills to help them succeed after entrance.   We do not have "one plan".  We develop a plan with you.  First step -- call us for an initial phone consultation with the Director, at 617-610-5758







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